heat00 wrote in post #17869036
thank you for the reply.
I shoot in JPEG. I don't really have the time after shooting to go an edit 500 pictures after each game, unless that is the only solution. I use 1/320 or 1/400, 2.8. ISO on Auto setting that usually seems to be at 3200 or 6400, never seen higher than that. sometimes that is a working combination however in some poorly lit gyms, the shots look grainy or noisy and a little dark.
A good friend has a nikon d4 with the same 2.8 700-200 (nikon) lens and his pictures are light years better than mine. I learned of these settings from him and so far it's given me the best results I have found. If there is enough light, pictures seem to come out ok for the most part however many times the 3.7 fps seems like not enough to get a good shot and many pictures are not in focus. I thought I had all of these settings optimally set. He also doesn't seem to have to edit anything aftewards and the pictures seem great in comparison to mine.
I'll see if I can upload an example....
A newer sensor can help with dealing with higher ISO.
I wouldn't use AUTO anything. Your images are dark because they're underexposing due to not setting exposure correctly and allowing the camera meter to use AUTO ISO and under-expose your image, which kills the whites, and makes the noise look amplified. If you get exposure right, your whites will pop, and the noise will be less noticeable. Whatever meter mode you're using is influencing how AUTO ISO computes exposure, and that is clearly under-exposing your photos from your description. My suggestion here, don't use auto anything. Meter it yourself. Turn on Live View, turn on the live histogram, and point at a player with a white jersey. Set your aperture to F2.8 and shutter to whatever it takes to stop motion (if you are able to do it all at 1/400s, great, keep it there, if not, go faster, motion blur cannot be corrected in post, so stop motion with shutter). From there, crank ISO as high as it needs to be to push that histogram to the right without clipping the whites of the jerseys. Shoot in RAW. Shooting in JPG at high ISO is a big reason why you're having other issues with image quality (the JPG image of your T3i is ok, but not phenomenal, you'll get much cleaner images if you shoot RAW and make the JPG yourself later; less noise, more dynamic range and recovery which is essential to good images in poor light).
If you're under-exposing at 1/400s, F2.8 and ISO 6400, that means you are in some dark, dark light for a gym, and you need to be at ISO 12800 and probably need to be at F2 to be able to maintain 1/400s or even hope to get to 1/800s and maintain proper exposure to stop motion blur (not sure how you're doing 1/320s and 1/400s and not getting blur).
3.7FPS is a limitation, agreed there. The only way past that is a faster FPS capable camera.
You can buy a camera with better ISO performance, better JPG engine output, and faster FPS. Minimum cost here is about $1k to get it right. You still have to expose right. You can get a 1DX and under-expose and get a noisy image.
You're not going to edit all 500 images. A handful, very few, are going to be the "money" shots. Edit those. You'll have time. If you're trying to edit all 500, that speaks volumes.
If you want to spend money before nailing exposure concepts and post-processing for high ISO low light shooting, some suggestions:
1DX + 70-200 F2.8L IS II (.... had to, lol)
7D2 - 10 FPS, ISo 12,800, good engine for JPG if you refuse to shoot RAW and process your shots.
70D - 7 FPS, ISO 12,800, good engine for JPG, cheaper. Not as robust buffer, so take it easy on the continuous shooting if you spray & pray.
7D classic - 8 FPS, ISO 12,800, same ISO performance & JPG engine basically as your T3i, but you get the 8 FPS and a better buffer for continuous shooting and way better AF tracking. CHEAP.
If you can't be bothered with RAW/editing, etc. And the options are too costly. Or you get a new camera and get the same result by using it all the same, then I would consider just using a faster lens, like an F2 prime (85 F1.8, 100 F2, 135 F2, etc) to save you a stop of ISO.